WATER (info applies inside and outside)
...Basic info... making snowglobes
...Lessons for globes
...Water-contact problems
..........whitish coating, rot/algae
.......liquids to use
...... storage, UV light
...... clay & glues
.......sealants for clay items
..........occasional water contact
..........continuous water contact
..............fountains/ aquariums
....Air bubble problems (2 kinds)
...Supplies (& suppliers) for globes & containers
..."Display" globes (no water)
Bathroom & kitchen items... soap dishes, etc.

OUTDOOR polymer (sun, water exposure)
...Polymer used in sun, weather
......fading, darkening prob's
...(More) outdoor items for gardens, etc. ......& lessons
......plant stakes, plaques, pots, mailbox, windchimes, trees,fairy doors,etc.
......rocks, rock, stone (polymer)
.........non-polymer simulations (can be used with polymer)
...........cement mixes (concrete/Quikrete, Hypertufa ....stepping stones, embedding, etc.)
......more ideas

polymer clay in water or sun
"OUTDOOR" Polymer
snowglobes, fountains...bathroom & kitchen items
outdoor items




It can be really fun to make snowglobes (and water globes) with polymer clay items inside (and other materials and items as well).
This can be an activity for kids, or the globes can be quite sophisticated in the elements used.
They can be made in many sizes as well, from tiny to large.

Here are some of the basic elements to consider when making them:
--items (usually anchored down)... figures, scenery, etc.
--liquids (can be various combinations and proportions)... plain tap water isn't usually advised unless the globe doesn't need to last
........to make floaties fall slowly (glycerin, mineral oil, corn syrup)
........to avoid rot or undesirable coatings which can develop over time (distilled water, alcohol, waterbed conditioner, Eberhard Faber's "preservative" in kits)
--"snow" or other falling materials (polyester glitters, other plastic "confetti" shapes, crushed mothballs, cane slices, tiny plastic beads or items, etc.)
--glues for holding items and for sealing caps on
--storage conditions (light vs. dark or indirect light)

more on each element

ITEMS... the anchored parts inside the globes
(these can be glued down in some way, or be kept in place with a mechanical hold of some kind from clay, etc.)
Size & Position:
...items must be small enough to fit through the neck of the particular container used
.....since the water will magnify items inside the gobe, make them just a bit smaller than you want them to appear
.....but raise them high enough to be seen well (but not so they'll be too close to the top (too much magnification)
........we had to add a small pad of clay to raise the critter so it could be easily seen. Patty B.

...polymer items (though see warnings below on whitish coatings which can develop, if not protected against)
...plastic or ceramic or glass items
...if using rock/stone, be sure all loose particles are thoroughly brushed away (and pre-soak if not totally smooth)
.....terra cotta should be okay (but presoak)
...metal can rust unless well painted or sealed
...organic materials and bare wood, etc. can rot ...and/or break up into the water

......unsealed paper-based clays and paper-based items probably wouldn't be best
......these could also be things like tiny toys, or small seasonal items, or tiny plastic items for cakes or for wedding or new-baby decorations, etc., in addition to clay
...greenery like trees or "silk" flowers ... or other scenery ....or structures
.....synthetic evergreen tips which look like tiny pine trees are available at many floral-supply stores
.....many ceramic structures and fake rock, etc. are available for aquariums
..(or combinations of any above)
...hold items under running water to get rid of any tiny bubbles which may get caught in the crevices of some items
......these bubbles may also rise to the top of the globe after time as one big bubble which can't be removed
...one maker of snowglobe kits recommends actually pre-soaking
(and/or some materials may "outgas" bubbles over time, so pre-soaking would avoid?)

Snow and water globes can be made in many containers.... though globes are usually clear, they could also be a transparent color
or part of the container could even be covered or not transparent.

There are kits with domed glass (or plastic?), and all the parts you'll need (see Supplies below).

Or make your own globe without a kit using all kinds of jars (with their lids)
...or round-bottom votives or drinking glasses (make your own base)... some glass display domes might be usable
...tiny globes can be made from tiny glass bottles, or from small plastic domes from goodie machines
...or use a glass tube shape and made a snow or water wand (see BOH).

bases ... simples would be screwed-on lids (on jars)
... or various things which globes could be impressed into, then glued to
..... or possibly flat items to which the globes can be glued or otherwise attached
...could even be made from a thick pad of polymer clay
(...kits will have bases included)

GLUES to hold the globes to the bases are often silicone-based ones, aquarium glue... epoxies or 2-part epoxies... Gorilla Glue,etc.
(see below for more on glues)

LIQUIDS to make snow or other materials fall correctly (usually mixed with distilled water)
... mineral oil (that found in the laxative aisle is thinner than "baby oil"? and also has no scent additives.
...corn syrup? (the sugar in it is also a preservative?)
...a clear cooking oil
(for liquids to use to avoid whitish coating and rot, see below in Continuous water contact problem > Liquids)

....various kinds of glitters will work for falling snow in snowglobes, but they must be the type which will not tarnish (i.e., some metal glitters... instead use polyester, plastic, etc; ...aluminum may be ok?)
...and some some of the colored glitters can be a problem and will discolor the water (..so test first, overnight? or how long?)
...for snow, the (polyester) glitter can be white or, silver, or holographic (one of my favorites is the medium-size Prisma holographic glitter because it shows up well, sinks slowly and twists and sparkles wonderfully).
. . several kinds of glitters could be used at the same time, particularly if they don't need to simulate snow
...what about using Pearl Ex, or the larger flakes of Perfect FX or Powdered Pearls? since they're mica
...what about bits of opalescent mylar shreds.... or bits of plastic backed foils (would they rust on the edges?)
...in the past, "snow" for snowglobes has been made from bone chips, coarse pottery flecks, sand, sawdust, fine fragments of porcelain, even ground raw rice (wouldn't that get mooshy and globby though?). (Martha Stewart)

Some other kinds of falling things to put in globes (test first though... many will never sink, only float ):
.... tiny hollow and/or plastic items (at least a little floatable)
.....plastic beads (glass or metal are usually too heavy)
... plastic confetti shapes (tiny shapes, pumpkins, etc.)
polymer beads or cane slices, etc.

.......chopped Sculpey Ultralight, or tiny balls or shapes (would float too much?...or fall if mixed with regular clay, but more slowly?)
....free floating tiny plastic fish (but fish won't float in correct orientation?)

...tiny Christmas decorations . . . and other seasonal bits and pices
...look in toy dept's.... at hobby shops and flea markets
......see more ideas in BOH > Snow Globes & Wands

What if we used materials or items other than glitter for falling in mini scenes inside snow globes?
..e.g., pizza toppings.....pizza pie on the floor of the globe and you can shake the toppings and watch them fall into place. flower petals...an almond tree in spring bloom, two lovers sitting side by side, shake the globe and a swirl of white petals dance around and cover the lovers...awwwww fish...under the sea scene, a choppy tide pool surf deal, shake it up and crabs and star fish, and little clams and abalone and a stray scuba diver are all sloshed about...glubbidy glubb.....cows, little girls named Dorothy and dogs named Toto can swirl in a snow globe if ya had a hankering to make it...Nora Jean
...see more scene ideas in Kids > Scenes & Bases, for example


We used Krylon metallic paint markers to paint the metal lids. Patty B.
the outsides of the lids are painted with oil-based enamel paint in Martha Stewart's lesson

What if we embellished the tops of the lids ....so they don't look like jars? Nora Jean
.... could do all kinds of things to cover lids or make them much larger or into other shapes ... or the lid decorations could be part of the container shape (heads, tops of rockets or Xmas stockings, or anything.... could use crumpled aluminum foil inside if using clay, or could be made from other materials)

...see many more ideas for snow and water globes in the Lessons sub-category just below


We used baby food jars and Premo . . and a special water solution:
Our stock solution:
1 gallon of distilled water, minus 12 oz, plus 1 cup of 50% rubbing alcohol and 4 oz of glycerin (keeps well too).
OR...Patty also wrote: .... I removed 8 oz of the water and replaced it with 4 oz of 90% rubbing alcohol and 4 oz of glycerin. The alcohol will help prevent bacterial/fungal growth and the glycerine slows the fall of the glitter.
..... I have since decided that a bit more glycerin would help slow down the glitter a little more.
lesson ....for making whole globe:
...sculpt the clay (& make sure it's not too tall)... bake directly on the lid (without jar) --clay will bond with the interior plastic lid liner ...cool.
...first use just plain water to see where the water level needs to be on the jar, so that it won't leave a large air space or run over....mark with a china marker or piece of tape (by filling with water, screwing on top and clay, marking, then removing lid and water?).
...pour in the special solution . . . sprinkle in the glitter.
...now carefully squirt clear bathtub/sink caulk or aquarium sealant around the inner edge of the lid
...screw the sculpture & jar lid on the jar, tighten by hand (unfortunately baby food jars will not tighten down completely, but will hold the seal)
...leave the jar upside down with the lid on top overnight to allow the sealant to set completely
...decorate the lid with metallic paint pens or acrylic paint.
My sample bear snow globe is over 5 years old and has not developed either algae or a white bloom. The colors are still just as vivid as when first made. Patty B.

I used 1 gallon of distilled water to begin.
....The baby food jars were sealed with clear Bathroom/Kitchen Silicone caulk sealer. So far, everything is holding up very well. My art students loved making these as Valentine gifts for moms and grandmothers.
...We baked the clay "Cartoon Critters" (see Kris Richards' video) directly on a base of clay well stuck to the lid. Only a few popped after baking and those we used Super Glue Gel by Loctite to reattach..
...For about 70 students (grades 6, 7, 8, and Art I), we only used about 1 1/2 gallons of this mixture. Since the sculptures occupy so much of the space, the water goes a long way.
The students, used only Premo (lion, white and black kitties, ladybug, snake, butterfly suspended on a heavy paper clip over some flowers, puppies, skunk,etc. Patty Barnes

Martha Stewart has 2 lessons for making a snowglobe using an jar, distilled water with just a bit of glycerin (she claims using more than a few drops will cause the glitter to stick to the bottom??), and plastic or ceramic figures/trees which are epoxied to the sanded inside of the lid
.....(the outsides of the lids are painted with oil-based enamel paint)


Heather R's bear snowglobe --round jar with flat bottom (now on top) --both top and bottom covered with disc of decorated clay (several years old, but kept mostly in a closet) http://members.home.com/claythings/fun.htm
I made a snoglobe using a jar from the dollar store almost two years ago now... (must I keep it in the closet to keep the coating from appearing?) Heather

lesson at Duvall on making a snowglobe from a jar, using distilled water, a few drops of glycerine, and a couple of pinches of glitter
... epoxy glue is used for figures on sanded lid interior and to attach cap

Sculpey's lesson on making a snowglobe from a jar, using distilled water, confetti (not paper) and glitter
... the inside of the cap is built up with a tall mound of clay, then figures, etc. added;
...they add a "skirt" of clay around the outside of the lid and put writing on it.....lids glued on with hot glue or epoxy

Sculpey's lesson on making a snowglobe from a small round-bottomed glass votive holder or vase for the globe
...make your own base with a 2" tall pad of clay narrower than the diameter of the votive opening
...make a snowman (or anything you want) and place it on the raw clay base somewhat firmly
...add an irregular sheet of white clay "snow" to the top of the globe (bottom of the votive) to hide the flat glass area
...bake base and vase-with-snow
...fill globe with distilled water and glitter
...apply a line of "silicone" (caulk? glue?) around rim of globe, and "insert base into globe" (not sure how the clay base fits into the globe tightly) ...
... let sit until dry
http://www.sculpey.com/Projects/PDF/PF%20SEASONAL.pdf (must have Acrobat Reader to access)

Monica's lesson on making a snowglobe from a small jar, water and crushed mothballs for floaties, with a small house & tree

tallmouse's lesson on making simple snowglobe with various jars ... they add a ribbon around the jar lid base to finish off nicely

many snowglobes in baby food jars, made by kids

Garie's waterglobe with polymer fish and thin polymer seaweed (upside down jar)
...the fish is also mounted on a soft spring to make the movement more flexible and realistic. ...clay seaweed must be thin so that it will also be flexible with the water movement.
... to make the fish move without shaking the bottle, a tiny magnet can also be embedded the fis's mouth, and another magnet waved around outside the jar

Garie's creature made with two water-filled "globes" (a cylindrical bottle for the body, and a dome for the brain) connected together with clay units of "octopus" head-shoulders-arms, and legs

Garie's larger waterglobes

could use an upside down clear glass Christmas ornament ball??
...then make only very small items which will fit through neck, or some way to cut the glass so hole is larger?

Bonnie W's lesson on using an upside down glass votive (Anchor Hocking Small Ivy Glass "vase"), "household silicone sealant" glue (silicone caulk?), and a wood base
....she creates a half-dome of white clay the same diameter as the rim of her votive (making sure it just fits inside the votive's rim), then makes figures, etc., and places them on the white dome ... bakes
...she places the (clean) votive upside down in a towel in a bowl, and pours in her distilled water + 1/2 T large white glitter
...runs a line of silicone glue along the inside edge of the votive, and gently inserts the clay base and figures into the votive, pressing down to seal (some water may escape)...let sit for an hr
...turns over and add thin layer of glue if leaks appear, spreading over whole bottom area with popscicle stick... let sit 24 hrs
...paints wood base with acrylic paint (white for snow)
...glues wood base to bottom of votive-clay base with large blob of E-6000 (...applies Delta's “Freshly Fallen Snow” to wood base... and also on flat area of votive bottom, now at top, then embeds baked ribbon candies and peppermint candies into it snow... allows to dry)

(...her lesson also includes making an elf, penguin, etc.)

lesson on making a globe with just shells and sand ....or shells, sand and water (with a kit) --where the sand will "fall" like glitter:
http://www.hgtv.com/hgtv/cr_kid_crafts/article/0,1789,HGTV_3256_1397889,00.html )

Garie's lesson on making a snowglobe (purchased globe kit from Eberhard Faber, Fimo --small, oval globe, 70mm X 52mm), with snowman figure on base of snow inside (leave small area without clay for hole)
... he glues figure-snow unit to black base from kit with 2 pt epoxy, then rubs dome rim in same glue and presses onto base... lets set 60 min. (he says could also use hobby plastic cement)
... turns unit upside down, and pours "snow flakes" and 2 drops of preservative (provided with kit) into hole in black base, and fills with tap water before plugging with small PVC cap provided. ...Garie suggests adding some rainbow (opalescent?) glitter to the snow provided
....Garie's similar lesson on making a waterbglobe (purchased globe kit --older kit than above?---from Eberhard Faber, Fimo), with "Haunted Toilet" scene & ghost inside, and glow in the dark glitter as "snow"
......(this also has lessons on making a wood wall, tile floor, toilet, and ghost)
http://pcpolyzine.com/0209september/toilet01.html (click on all 3 parts!)
http://pcpolyzine.com/0209september/plan.html (plans)
Garie also shows a diagram for filling and sealing the globe
and how to make the ghost float upright but not too high in the water (by adding length to the tail, & adding salt water )

.... see below for locating empty globes

*Garie's incredible, tiny waterglobes made with very small water globes from plastic domes (come from 25-cent machines with tiny toy inside); these aren't as sturdy as glass, but should work fine if not abused
--Create the clay base and attach any scenery or figures to it.
--Make a quarter-inch hole all the way through the base (somewhere it won't be seen from the front).
--Press the globe into the base (to create an indentation)
......(make sure there is a bit of clearance between the hole and the bottom of the clay for the acrylic sheet lid??, or pre-indent a space for the lid?)
--Remove the globe from the base.
--Bake the base.
--Place (plastic-type?) glue evenly on base in the indention, and reseat the empty globe.
--Let dry about an hour.
--Cut a thin acrylic sheet into a 1/2" square.
--Fill the globe with water through the hole, making sure to tilt it while doing so to remove *all* the air.
--When the globe is filled, place it on a drinking glass or towel to free your hands.
--Add 1/2 teaspoon waterbed conditioner (Target/Walmart, $2.00) to the water.
--Wipe the base completely dry.
--Apply plastic glue to the small acrylic lid and place firmly over the hole.
--Leave the globe upsidedown until the glue is dry.

Barbe's tiny snowglobes ...made with plastic dome & base from packaging:
....there is a little product for dog walkers sold in dog supply places that holds an individual "poopie pick-up" baggie
...it's in the shape of a tiny little snow globe (the clear plastic top comes off the colored plastic bottom ---which could be painted)
...I didn't bake the plastic... instead I made a small flat piece of clay (white and pearl) base that would fit in the plastic bottom
...I made tiny doggies and a snowman to go inside on that flat piece (measuring to make sure they'd fit under the dome).
.. I added the "snow & medium" inside the domed lid.. then sealed with silicone
......to cover the sealed area, I made some braided clay in xmas colors to fit around it... then I slipped it off the dome (made it slightly larger because clay shrinks a tiny bit in baking)... then glued it back
...for the ornament, I added a "hanger with a short bit of jewelry chain" mechanism to the top so it could be hung on the tree.
...they were a big hit with my friends with dogs). Barbe

loads of other things can be put into the globes as well as polymer clay items (see more above in Basics)
....plastic, glass, ceramic or metal toys & figures (small to med)
.......from fast food places, 25 cent machines, bins of tiny things from hobby stores or toy stores, etc
....."silk" polyester flowers or greenery, etc.
.....plastic greenery for aquariums.....(or tiny ceramic items for aquariums)

see also Elizabeth's tiny dome with no water (Santa, etc.) below in "Non-Water Globes"

for my tiny "snow"globes in bottles , see BOH > "Snow Globes & Wands"
. . . these contain either floaties of various kinds and glitter, or tiny scenes or figures, etc.,

( for snowglobe kits, see below in "Supplies")

CONTINUOUS .water-contact problems


One small caveat about water and clay... baked polymer clay is *somewhat* porous even though it's "waterproof" for most ways we use it.
....This can show up in two ways --when clay items are submerged in water a long time, and when thin-walled clay is holding water (as a vessel).
.... .In the first case, the submerged clay will be waterproof for all intents and purposes, except when used in *continuous* contact with water over a longish period of time (6 months or so). In that case, some water will begin to be absorbed into the surfaces and the clay will get a whitish coating, though this may not be visible on lighter colors of clay at all.
......In the second case of water-containing vessels though, the clay is thinner and it also has water pressure against it, so it may begin to leak after some time (unless sealed in some way) .... see below for ways to deal with that.

whitish coating problem

There seem to be at least two different problems which occur from continuous and long term water contact with the elements inside a snowglobe ... the first is a whitish coating; the second is algae (or a greenish tint to the water) or rust or outright rot. Some of these seem to be "caused" by the polymer, and some by the other materials or by contaminants.

Garie's tests on the porosity of various clay brands held in water continuously for 19 days, shows that all worked well except:
...Sculpey's Eraser Clay (most porous) ... Bend and Bake (Sculpey Flex) .... MoldMaker (Super Elasticlay)
...Super Sculpey and Sculpey III (including Granitex) became brittle
Garie's tests on clay items left in ponds for days and weeks (no problem)

Eventually ....(after 4-6 months)... water seems to be absorbed into at least the outermost surface of clay, leaving a whitish coating on it.
...this coating is not very visible on light colors, but is more visible on dark clay colors.
.......my globe did become powdery (white) on all of the surfaces... the colors look very subdued now... pastel (but not dirty or green). Maureen
Solutions for preventing this have been tried or discussed... the most successful now seem to be using:
....various liquids in the globes which are antibacterial or preservative in nature, or
....sealants to coat the polymer items (for these, see "Sealants" below)
....buffing it away? ...or letting it dry out??

Beware though... it can be hard to tell which methods are successful because there is a 6 month waiting period (during which the globe is stored in daylight or fluorescent light) to make sure the negative effects won't eventually appear! ...they have been known to appear only after that long a time.

"There are so many variables when it comes to snowglobes that it would take a great deal of research to determine what the exact problem is, and how to fix it. Variables include different brands of clay, degrees of curing, cleanliness of environment, chemicals in the "snow", glue and base itself. I don't trust research done on only a few pieces. So, as far as I am concerned, the jury is still out." Maureen Carlson

rot, algae, rust

Be sure and avoid adding anything foreign to the closed globe with the water, since it could seed or allow things to grow even in the closed environment of the container
....for example, oil or dirt from hands or tools, paint residues, etc.....even the chlorine in some tap water.

Some people have had luck with using polymer clay in water but my experience hasn't been good. My doctor has a desktop fountain that bubbles down over some rocks and I made him a clay turtle to go into it. .... It had 5 coats of Varathane on it, but 3 months later it had started to turn cloudy and mushy. I can't vouch for what was done to it when I wasn't there, though. Kim
.....Hmmm.. maybe they added Clorox or chlorine to the water... ? I'll bet that could make pc mushy after a while since chlorine is so destructive after a while... ?? Dave

It does look like the floatie things (the glitter kind, not the white snow kind) may now have a green tint to it....(why would that happen?), but the polyclay is FINE! (....I used white premo, brown premo, pink pearl sculpeyIII, white pearl sculpeyIII, blue pearl sculpeyIII and yellow pearl sculpeyIII)..! Jan
....Hmmmm, I had a thought on this myself... if not algae, then maybe the stuff that is turning green might have some type of 'metal' element to it??? Kim

Liquids ....for avoiding rot or coatings in snowglobes

I just today, saw a Fimo booklet that told how to do waterglobes....it said to bake the fimo, let cool, (didn't say to coat with anything), then put in the globe and add distilled water and "preservative"... but nowhere could I find what preservative they were talking about.
...i made a snowglobe several years ago and it did not change color!!! ...most people get a white layer on their work inside.... i used the water preservative Eberhard Faber sells here in their kits for snowglobes! Ria
...here's a photo http://www.eberhardfaber.com/Preservative.EBERHARDFABER?ActiveID=16869

That "blue stuff" (from Eberhard Faber) is the same as waterbed conditioner ... which reduces growth of stuff in the water bed so the bed doesn't get weakened by fungus eating it. It makes sense that it would work well for polymer in a sno-globe.
.....you can find it at K-mart or Target cheap at around $2 a bottle. One bottle is used for one waterbed so it should do well for tons of sno-globes.
... the blue water condtioner sounds easier (than sealing the items since you only need use) 1/2 tsp of it per globe. ...faun

Someone also mentioned using a very small amount of liquid bleach (?).

What we used that seemed to work:
stock solution:
....1 gallon of distilled water, minus 12 oz... plus 1 cup of 50% rubbing alcohol ... 4 oz** of glycerin (keeps well too) ....I have now decided that a bit more glycerin** would help slow down the glitter a little more..Patty B.
OR...Patty also wrote: .... I removed 8 oz of the water and replaced it with 4 oz of 90% rubbing alcohol ... 4 oz of glycerin. (the alcohol will help prevent bacterial/fungal growth and the glycerine slows the fall of the glitter).

If anyone is the least concerned about their water causing any deposits [like algae, rot ---especially when using tap water], add a 1/4 cup of household bleach to the water [she uses about 1 1/4 gal... or just add a bit if using less water], shake well and then let it sit overnight with the cap loosened to let the gas from the bleach dissipate... and then add the glycerin the next day..... I used rubbing alcohol as the disinfectant in my snow globes and it worked quite well. Patty B.

Another globe that I made with all glycerin (also very expensive) as the liquid, never did change color and there was no color fading and no white spots......(was over 2 years old.... I used with sliced miniature millefiori pieces as the "snow"). Maureen
....(but did the "snow" actually fall?? ---prob. not)

tests performed by mlbarre:
...colors I used Fimo ( yellow, red).... FimoSoft (green)... Sculpey III (orange)... Clay Factory Clay (Premo) (black)... Promat (gold)
....... baked... approximately the size of smarties candy... I put two of each color in the glass jars . . .
# 1 - 100% distilled water, # 2 - 100% distilled water with glitter, # 3 - 100% distilled water with snow (1-3: all 100% distilled water and all faded colors are Fimo)
I'm going to dump out #1-3... they are gross and would never work in a snow globe.
#4 100% tap water, there's no chlorine in my city water) has no mold growing (for now at least).... Black is slightly faded, all the other colors are very good (but snow or glitter falls fast?).
#5 - 100% glycerin --looks wonderful...no color fading, no mold... just expensive (one drawback is that
snow or glitter will not fall, it only floats on top.)
# 6 - 84% of glycerin and 16% distilled water
# 7 - 75% glycerin - 25% distilled water
# 8 - 50% glycerin - 50% distilled water (clay pieces fall very fast)
# 9 - 50
% glycerin - 50% distilled water, with glitter (which falls nicely)
#10 -50% glycerin - 50% distilled water with snow
6-10 are all about the same as #5 (100% glycerin)... this is good news because the cost has just been reduced significantly, and glitter works well with #9

Storage & UV lighting

Other people have seemed to imply that the more UV light the globe gets, the quicker the coating appears. . .
. . . I would assume you could keep (your globe) out in direct UV light for only short periods, and monitor it for problems. (Is there any way you could redo it with the waterbed conditioner?? That might solve the whole problem)
......another possibility might be putting it back in the dark in order to "kill" the coating?? ...would that work? DB

So where was your globe located during those 7 months that showed no problems?
.....Nov. - on a shelf with indirect sunlight, room temp (remember it's Ohio!!) ... December - in the dark and cool basement with virtually no light ...January - direct sunlight on a shelf ....February - indirect sunlight ....March - in the dark basement ....April - direct sunlight and we had warm days ...May - indirect sunlight ...June - basement ....July - direct sunlight & 90 degree days, sometimes no ac. Jan, Ohio

I taught a lesson on snowglobes using (many colors of ) Premo polymer clay in late January. My example is a dark brown bear holding a cadmium red rose (see Patty's formula for water above)
....it sat in my classroom at school for 4-5 months in florescent lighting (dark at night) and was totally fine... I brought it home at the end of May, and now it is in regular daylight and home lighting (indirect?) and is still fine (how long home?). Patty B.

Glues & Other "clays"

(In the beginning, it was thought that the brand or the color of clay was totally responsible for the white coating that appeared ... it seems now to have been the liquid used, and/or the storage conditions, as well as darker colors which allowed it to show up).

I attached the bear's quilt in the globe to the "stopper" with waterproof silicone. ....Jan Ohio

Gorilla Glue http://www.gorillaglue.com/theglue/ .... waterproof, incredibly strong . . . bonds wood, stone, metal, ceramics, Corian®, styrofoam, and more... foams to 3 times its applied size (so remove excess as it dries)... need to clamp?... initial gluing activated with water
...when nothing else works for me, I go to something called Gorilla glue. We glued two halves of a large cement bird bath together using it. It's holding great, at least for the last year. No signs of wear or tear so far. Dotty

(2 part) epoxy glue is used for figures, and to attach cap and on sanded lid interior (Duvall lesson)

Sculpey's lesson suggests hot glue ......or expoxy glue

We baked the clay "CartoonCritters" (see Kris Richards' video) directly on a base of clay well stuck to the lid. Only a few popped after baking and those we used Super Glue Gel by Loctite to reattach..

Weldbond (a catalyzed white glue).. "highly water-resistant & impervious to petroleum, oil, grease, molds, fungi, alkali's & weak acids. withstands all climatic conditions after curing"
... it looks like standard white glue, but has higher-standard properties ...it's white when applied, but dries crystal clear and flexible. ...highly concentrated adhesive (can be mixed with water to dilute), tacky ... sets quickly ... holds strong after curing overnight (much stronger than CA). ...will glue almost anything to anything (balsa, plywood, acetate, fiberglass, hardwood, foam, and paper)...good primer for porous surfaces....infinite shelf life when stored properly...no fumes, non-allergenic, non-toxic and water-cleanup

(if color weren't an issue) I might use an epoxy clay rather than a polymer clay for continuous water contact as the epoxy clay is billed as waterproof when dry, and sticks like mad to most surfaces. Durn near indestructible too.
...marine grade epoxy putty may be more like what you are looking for... it is available at Wal Mart car section with the sandpaper and is relatively cheap. Kathmandu
...I suggest you try Apoxie Sculpt (see Sculpting > Other Clays for more info) . It is a synthetic clay that mimics what epoxies do. It self hardens about 3 hours after easy mixing. It is waterproof, super adhesive, extremely durable and strong, has 0% shrinkage, has no solvents in it so has no bad fumes and is non-toxic. It even bonds to polymer clays! It can be sanded, filed, tapped, lathed or otherwise tooled, and it accepts paints well. Really sounds like you could give it a try for this sort of thing, Cindy.
Apoxie Sculpt is also starting to be found at more hobby, model and craft stores across the country.
.....or ask for FIXIT (which is even tougher) at your local store or chain. ....Chuck
....another brand of epoxy clay is Magic Sculp check http://www.magicsculp.com . I can attest to the fact that it is hard as a rock when "cured," after about three hours (they sent me a free sample). I had a piece of it sitting outside for three months and it (just checked) seems to hold up great…

this lesson pours some 2-pt epoxy resin (like Envirotex Lite) into the cap of a baby food jar to hold the figurines, etc., and lets it cure for 48 hrs (resin could be colored as well... see Other Materials > Epoxy Resins > Coloring)... at Creative Juice program's website

The baby food jar lids were sealed with clear Bathroom/Kitchen Silicone caulk sealer. So far, everything is holding up very well.
...what about the silicone glue for aquariums?
...or E-6000?, a type of silicone glue

Sealants for clay items

sealers for occasional water contact

Water resistant, yes---water beads up on polymer and does not soak it....waterPROOF....well that's different.
....There are comparisons of washed and unwashed buttons on my page http://www.polyclay.com/button.htm and I have found that Rustoleum's Varathane washes well when applied straight to clay or when applied as a mixed stain, but adhesion is not good enough for repeat washings when applied over a coating of powders or over metallic leaf.
I have jar lids in my bathroom that get wetted by shower spray on the shelf, but not soaked. They are OK--had a little mildew at one point, but it wiped off the surface with little effort.
The surfers in San Diego that I talked with had some of my beads on hemp cord and they prefered the unglossed (matte) beads, which had no change in seawater--the varathane lost gloss after daily sun and seawater for a month or two...Sarajane
....I think the submerging would not do the Varathane any good --it takes being washed in the washing machine on buttons, but is a water base product after all...it'll melt eventually. Sarajane

For newbies . . . I want to repeat my warning that Future is soluble in water and some solvents even after drying and baking in the oven. It isn't permanent (in some situations). . .
...On any piece, water droplets or even atmospheric humidity can penetrate the Future and turn it cloudy and sticky. It comes right off with exposure to alcohol or ammonia.
...On a flat piece, it's going to crack along any (baked parts you fold)) . .
...none of this is an issue though (if you won't have these factors)... Elizabeth

sealers for continuous water contact

...Polymer clays are very slightly porous . . . you can observe this if you throw (baked) figures into a container full of water, some of them will float ... after a few days though, they will sink to the bottom
. . . the degree of porosity varies from clay to clay. Garie

porosity of clay when holding water (as vases, etc) --where clay is thinner, and has water pressure against it
.....for vessels of plain clay, you'll see minor seepage between 2 and 3 days; but we're talking truly minor. . .
.......Premo holds water for at least 20 days( that's when I finally knocked over my vessel)
....however, if you seal the inside of the pc with liquid clay ......mine was watertight for at least the 5 days I tested (provided, of course, your joins are good and tight, no holes or pockets.) pokopat
......with the coating of Kato (liquid clay) I have had no apparent change for over a month so far...docsarah
......liquid clay is strong! ...I can make a vessel with thinner walls with Premo. If I glaze the inside with two coats of TLS, it becomes rigid and won't flex but is still very strong .......... I also coat the inside of vases so that they will be sure and hold water ..Jody B..
.....However, PC is porous enough that perfume oils will soak into the surface. Sarajane

5-6 layers of Varathane will not only resist the water, but the sun too
... Mia made some clay blobs, covered some with 6 layers, some with 5 layers of Varathane, and tossed them into her bird bath for just over a year..... when she pulled them out of the water, they were as pristine as the day she dropped them in!!! sunni

2-pt resins (clear)....a coating of epoxy resin on the baked clay should work... but problems with polyester resins
BRANDS .... first, hard surface epoxy resins:
Ultra Glo ....came across something I thought might work for sealing clay items in snowglobes. I called a technical person at the company and asked …he guessed it would work well, and that it should not absorb water over time.... I haven't tried it yet though.
...it's a brand of clear, 2-pt epoxy resin which gives a thick, clear finish .... I bought mine at a plastics store last year for $5.45. The technical person said it should also be available at places like Ace/True Value and Michaels. The two bottles (which are mixed in equal parts) contain 8 oz. and cover approx. 2 1/2 square feet (though it's main use is as a thick pour-on topping for flat objects like bartops --thicker than we would use so it should go farther for us).
.... I'm pretty sure he said we might want to seal any polymer items in case they're porous before immersing in water (use white glue, not washable glue, maybe diluted a bit?... then let dry for 1-1 1/2 hrs.
the mixed resin (pt A + pt B) can be brushed on, or poured over, or the item can be dipped into the resin
..... If dipping, leave on a piece of waxed paper to dry (any dripping excess will peel right off the waxed paper, and it can be trimmed with a pair of scissors).
......If using a brush (coating will be thinner) he recommends a small foam-type brush which wouldn't leave brush marks.. Diane B
......If pouring over the item, can sit item on pile of pennies to allow drippage
......let item cure underneath a box, to prevent dust from accumulating on the sticky surface
......there will be some yellowing after several years if item left in direct sunlight, UV light
(all expoxy resins will do this)

it's poured on a flat horizontal surfacem, it drips a little but has a high surface tension so you are left with a raised clear smooth-edged surface, sort of like a shaped drop of water gone hard.
Liquid Glass, by Aristocrat
Envirotex Lite--Michaels
West System
...one guy at a varnish company suggested a marine epoxy (hard surface), which is much thinner than most 2-part epoxies (waterproof, spreadable with a brush), but it's pricey at $30. flo8
Acrylic Water is a "soft" surface 2-pt. resin used for as fake water in flower arrangments (floral setting resin)
... after setting, it stays a little flexible, not hard like regular 2 pt. clear resins (but can be poured deeply)
... my friend has the mermaids I made for her and covered with Acrylic Water in her turtle pond...some have their tails are in the water and others have their upper torsos immersed in water. ...It's been about 6 months since we put this together, she says that their hasn't been any change in the quality of the pieces in the water... when she cleans the tank? (indoor or outdoor?), the mermaids are easy to wipe off with a damp sponge and a little dish soap..... (is tank in sunlight, and did she used any dark colors?)

(for more on all the 2-pt clear resins and other brands, see Other Materials > Resins)

Gallery Glass puts out a sealer for grout on items to be used outdoors. You can also use it to seal the inside of clay pots. It's a Vicky Payne product by Plaid. It's has kind of a rubbery texture when dry. PC (clear?)

There is a brand of acrylic paints called Patio Paints that are specifically for outdoor use on pots or concrete. Michael's carries it. (clear?) Jeannine

some epoxy glues or other glues are truly waterproof and could be used as a layer of sealant (see Clays & Glues just above)

Fountains & Aquariums.... (in particular)

Some parts of (clay) fountains may be continuously submerged in water, and some parts may have less water contact. The only problem that might occur would be with fountain parts which are in continuous contact, and which were dark enough to show up the whitish coating that can form on the clay (see rest of page for possible solutions).

Charlie Nagel posted about making tabletop fountains here a couple of years ago. I have talked with him about it since he lives in my area, (Seattle), and he says that there is mineral buildup similar to what happens with plants planted in terra cotta pots - you get that white "film". His work around for this is to use distilled water instead of tap water. Apparently, as memory serves, this works... Meredith (11-99)
I've had some tabletop fountains running for a couple years and no signs of any problems. One, when dry, shows a bit of mineral deposit (probably should have been using distilled water) but the deposit doesn't show when it has water in it. charlie

I just went to my local Home Depot. In the garden department, where they keep the larger outdoor fountain pumps, I found the smallest size available which was about $20. They also sell them online... just search for "fountain pumps" on hotbot.com and you'll find a few helpful sites. Once you have the pump make sure your bowl is at least 2'' deep, because most pumps require at least 1 1/2'' of water to run properly. Then you can buy either plastic tubing or copper piping to guide your water flow. Steph

I've made some frogs which sit on the edge of our little fountain where the water splashes continually and so far, after six years, no damage to the frogs. We also made a "lip" for the edge of the fountain with some baked clay (so that the water would spill out better) and the only problem we have had is with the glue, not the clay. We found we needed aquarium glue to make it hold. But the clay lip is fine after six years. Dotty in CA

It would be a great idea to add little figures or other bits to the fountains which weren't submerged though! Or possibly put the polymer behind or within glass somehow...e.g., covering the inside of a small votive, etc. so the water either wouldn't touch the clay, or the white coating wouldn't be show from the visible side..

It's probably not a good idea to put polymer items in a small aquarium with small fish. What I did long ago when I wanted to put coral in my tank (a no-no since coral is only for saltwater aquaria) was to create a whole scene with the corals, etc., behind the tank. Behind that, I put a photo of seaweed and other underwater scenery; once I just used a large sheet of blue paper. Diane B.
...my own solution to the problem was to put the mermaid behind the tank, out of the water, nestled in crinkled up colored aquarium foil, taped all the way around the edges of the rear glass panel. The effect is really quite natural and provides an illusion of depth. The foil looks like rocks or the inside of a cave since the light comes only from the inside of the tank and the mermaid can be positioned so it looks as though she is swimming. It did confuse the fish a bit though! .. Lorieo
...Garie Sim has put clay in a (large) pond and not had it affect presumably larger fish though..

...Some types of fish are more sensitive than others though, I believe...

Bathroom & Kitchen water exposure
(soap dishes & more ideas)

Polymer is fine with water contact as long as it's not continuous water contact. In that case, over time the darker colors may get a whitish coating from absorbing a bit of water (shouldn't be noticeable on lighter colors).
So if you make a soap dish where your soap is wet most of the time, it could be a problem...some soap dishes are mostly decorative or used less frequently though.
...If the soap dries out frequently though, or if you use only lighter colors for the dish, it may not be a problem at all.
...It might also be possible to put little risers in the dish to lift the soap off its surface ...these could be make from polymer or from other waterproof things like metal studs, etc. ... certain high relief textures might work too.
(Putting a finish on it may or may not help... because over time they can also absorb a bit of water if in continous contact.) Diane B.

I have jar lids in my bathroom that get wetted by shower spray on the shelf, but not soaked. They are OK. . . . . I did have a little mildew at one point, but it wiped off the surface with little effort. Sarajane?

I can say that the three soap dishes I have and use regularly do not seem affected either by water OR soap .
....The only problem I seem to have is that certain colored soaps (like the glycerin-based amber-colored ones) tend to discolor or "dye" light-colored clays.

something to think about in your design: soap may find it's way into any nooks and crannies in the dish which will make cleaning it difficult.

screw-on all-polymer tops. . . .you can get a blob of firm clay and screw it carefully onto the thread(s) on the top of a bottle - glass, plastic, paint tubes, anything... unscrew carefully so as not to disturb the threads, and bake.... then decorate. It works very well and you can make gorgeous polyclay screw-on caps for everything. . . for example, lids to baby oil and shampoo containers etc.
....(I use Varathane over them and there has been no "bloom" on them from my steamy bathroom at all)...Sarajane

...I've learned that superglue does *not* hold up well around water! (thought perhaps Loctitie Superglue Gel does??) Cindy

accessories for the bathroom could be made from polymer clay ... such as:
...toothbrush cups (p.clay shouldn't be used for drinking cups though, unless the rim is avoided)
...covers for tissue boxes ...covering or embellishing anything in a bathroom, including mirror
.......(see also removable polymer sleeves for bathroom products, in Covering > Misc)
....drawer knobs
...covering part of the metal hangers used for shower curtains (or gluing on a bead, mold, etc.)
..... or beads strung between hangers and shower or other curtains
http://www.beadbabe.com/index.asp?where=store&ItemID=19711 (click to Enlarge)
http://www.beadbabe.com/index.asp?where=store&ItemID=19725 (could be used as curtain hangers?)
I covered the toilet paper roll brackets (roll holders) in my bathroom a year ago. I like it so much I'm going to do it for my other bathroom, and then, when I have time, do all the cabinet handles to match, and, I suppose, the towel rack brackets, too. Once I get started, I can't stop! :-) LynnDel
...fresh's rabbit and snake heads with open mouths to hold onto a toothbrush shaft (these hold it horizontal)... they have long necks to go into holes left in bathroom tiles, but could also be attached to a suction cup or temporary hook, etc., then used next to sink, in shower, etc.

bowls for display of soaps
.........(see Outdoor, Water, Sun > Soapdishes,Bathrooms,Kitchens for examples of many covered things)

Claudine's bowl type soapdish (attached to wall in mouth of metal fish bracket?)
http://www.essi.fr/~claudine/Fimo/Gallerie/SalledeBain/sdb.htm (in French.... click on the little magnifying glass on each object, to see more)
http://tinyurl.com/696kz (Google's translation in English)

........and her countertop shallow bowl soap dish
...she also covered just about everything in her bathroom!
.......towel bars and towel rings ...cabinet knobs, door handle (lever type) and even the lock and face plate on the door
.......containers (covered terra cotta flower pots, boxes, lg. tissue box, cup, jar, even contact lens cases)
.......she also hides a hole left in a wall tile with a polymer disk (glued on?), made from cane slices

(see also Frames- Mirrors > Decorative Tiles for more on decorative bathroom or kitchen tiles)

Johnny Kuborssy embedded a polymer cane slice in a clear bar of glycerine? soap... it seemed to work fine
...what about trying polymer sheets (pattern sheets, mokume gane, etc.), transfers or other polymer bits too? Diane B.

AIR BUBBLE problems

When creating a snowglobe, it's hard to close the lid (especially if also gluing it) without trapping an air bubble in the water (which will of course float to the top and partially ruin the effect)
...so, you can overfill the container slightly (surface tension will allow it to come up higher than the rim) before putting the lid on, but there still may be air space between the lid and the water... this is a problem!
...someone suggested submerging the open container in the water, open side up, in a larger container of distilled water... when water fills the jar the rest of the way, dip the lid into the water as well and then screw it onto the jar. . . (keeping both glass and lid completely submerged while screwing them togeteher on will help prevent bubbles in the finished jar)...from hgtv lesson on shells... see below for lesson
....(that's fine if you don't also want to glue the lid??)

My daughter has water globes ...and one of them has developed an air bubble ... 2 of them actually. .....I wonder if there is some tiny tiny place that is not sealed properly. I think it is pretty hard to do that. (We now keep them out of the sunlight now....don't know why but it has been working.). . . clayfulmingles
...In that time (4-5 yrs.) it got an airbubble ...i think from standing in the sun! in my case, but i can remove my little cap and fill the snowglobe again if i really wanted that. Ria

This reminded me of a tip I saw somewhere on how to make clear ice cubes.. boil the (distilled) water first (and boil it hard), because this drives out almost all of the air or dissolved gases in the water (so in ice cubes they won't cause that little bubbly cloud you usually see in regular homemade ice cubes). Ke

pre-wetting or soaking
...one maker of snowglobe kits recommends pre-soaking one's items in water before enclosing in a globe to get rid of any air bubbles
......bubbles can get into crevices of some items
.....and/or some materials may "outgas" bubbles later?
...(these bubbles may also rise to the top of the globe later as one big bubble, but then can't be removed)
I think if you get your pieces wet before submerging them into the globe, it will also eliminate those tiny air bubbles (in tiny crevices)..... running water forces air out of the small spaces and replaces it with water. Hattie


SUPPLIES & Suppliers

You can get glycerin by the gallon at a tack or feed store - something to do with horses, although I have no idea what... I paid $27 for a gallon, so it's still pretty expensive, but a lot less than at the drug store (about $4 for 4 oz.). …I've never used it for snow globes, so I don't have any input there - I've used it for making bubbles for the kids and for preserving autumn leaves... Claire
.....Glycerin (also called Glycerol, Glycerine...) is used by caterers and sugarcrafters to stop icing from drying out - so, your best source of it may be a cookery (baking supply) shop.
(Glycerine is also a very good watercolour paint additive - it prevents rapid drying) Alan


plastic ("oval" type) snowdome kits in smaller and larger sizes (2" & 4 1/2" high)
... one has a dark blue painted as background (they also sell the "photo" type)

all the rest more rounded globes?... diff. sizes... some "nicer" or heavier than others...glass and/or plastic

Michaels sells kits?

National Artcraft, in Twinsburg, Ohio has all kinds of waterglobes and snowglobes, with bases or without bases (includes rubber sealing gasket to seal with waterproof silicone adhesive), plus drifting materials, pendant-ornament, etc.
http://www.nationalartcraft.com/group6.htm (click on various links)
.. kits do not include any "additives" for the water
...can buy additional musical movement to the base. Remove white plastic shell & base of any full size 18-note musical movement (see "Musical Movements" in Index). Attach movement to inside of footed base using screws from plastic base. Requires our shortest wind-up key.

MarthaStewart.com sell kits also. . . and has a lesson for a snowglobe too (see above for details)

Eberhard Faber (Fimo) also produces about six styles of snow globe blanks along with the snow and glitters (and their "preservative" .(Petra) (hard to find in the US?)
...Garie in Singapore also sells two of them (with black bases): http://www.garieinternational.com.sg/clay/shop/globe.htm

Craftking Discount suppliers sells them. Go to Search & enter stock number 27112 for large globes (4" dia).; 27111 for mini ones. no longer available?
Their site is http://www.craftking.com
and lots of really neat ultrafine glitters (about 20 different colors).

I did a waterglobe and it still looks great according to the person who bought it. I did an undersea scene with mermaid and fish, pretty rocks, etc. The globe I used I had purchased from QVC but I have seen them other places.
It was called a Bloomin Aquarium. Its original purpose was for putting flower arrangements. . .

other sizes & types

1 3/8" globe pendant-ornament, with gold cap

...they also have an electrical catalog; 1-330-555-1212 or 1-440-555-1212 to get it

small waterglobe? or airglobe?
.... keyrings
, coasters, bookmarks, banks, mugs, paperweights, etc
use a flat sheet of clay (with transfers, cane sheets, mokume, etc.); the water doesn't actually touch the inserted clay

(there are also pre-filled globes --"photodomes," etc-- with a flat dry area in the center for inserting a photograph from the bottom ---see snowdomes.com site above, etc.)

Other Container ideas for globes

...glass light fixtures from a hardware store.... you know, the ones that are little round balls that screw onto a light fixture base?
...I also picked up tall glass domes that would normally fit onto wooden bases to display stuff. They are a bit on the tall side but I'm going to see what I can put into them.... Pauline
plain round . votive candle holder ..... or visit the thrift store and get glass containers of various sizes... my only requirement is that the bottom not be too thick.
...in the Wal Mart craft aisle ... ivy bowls would make perfect water globes… Sam in MS
(....see also above in Lessons for these + more...)

DISPLAY globes & domes (NO-water)
for scenes, figures, etc.

Yang Yang's glass half-ball (hemisphere) used as a tiny display dome, placed down onto (and slightly into) a clay base (blanket of snow,etc) .... think she had a tiny Santa and sled for the scene inside

Kevin's figure is placed inside a cylindrical jar (with a lid on top) ...moss and rocks at its feet, and hands are pressing against the inside (front) of the jar (this figure is part of a story, but could be another way to "display" a figure or scene)
glass jars, bottles, aquariums (often with fabric placed over opening, held around with ribbon or cord). . . . Kara's fairies or babies inside
Marlies lesson on making her scene inside an upturned jar for display "box"... some parts photos from catalogs glued onto paper or cardstock

round glass jar used as display for small clay scene (not upside down)
http://www.polymerclaycentral.com/claypen_boats.html (click on Sara W photo)

Kara also mostly covered one jar, leaving only an empty area of glass on one side to use as a display window for her sleeping baby

Marlies ... scene inside upturned jar for display "box"... some parts photos from catalogs glued onto paper or cardstock
(outdoor) Alice's Tea Party scene under a large glass "pot"

see terrarium (real or fake) made in a glass Christmas ball in Kids > Other Ideas (could make into a scene)

other possibilities... light fixtures (domed)... votive candle holders ... glass "chimneys" for oil lamps, even drinking glasses, etc.

Garie uses tiny plastic domes from 25-cent treat machines for some of his globes... could be used without water as well (see photos and more on these above under "Lessons")
...Elizabeth put a tiny Santa and tree plus a few polymer candies (starlight mints) in a tiny dome like this, with snow (no water)

see more possibilities --especially using glass ball ornaments-- in Christmas > Glass Balls
...including this one: http://www.picturetrail.com/gallery/view?p=999&gid=3208040&uid=820896

see also the paragraphs just above this section for other suggestions for globes or display domes

(for much more on scenes of all kinds, see Kids > Scenes & Dioramas and Houses > Scenes)

SUN & OUTDOOR polymer

(see above for Fountains)
(see above in Snowglobes also for additional experiences with continuous water contact)


One of my turtles has been subjected to extreme heat outside for almost a year (I live in Saudi Arabia).
.......I used primarily sap green and ultramarine blue (FimoClassic?)
...both colors have darkened--not in a bad way (only the parts that are in the sun --the inside is still original color
.. I also haven't noticed any brittleness at all. Evalie


The colors which seem to be most susceptible to fading with long term exposure to sunlight seems to be the reds, or colors made with a lot of red (purple, pink). Red pigments are notoriously "fugutive" in all media, so this isn't surprising.
...also Sculpey's Granitex color(s?)

Sculpey's Granitex loses it color very rapidly if exposed to UV light
......the clay that was on the front part of my drawers and exposed to light for at least 3 yrs faded
...so I use Granitex only when I can coat it with with powdered pigments that do not lose their colors (in liquid clay). Jeanne R.

KimK's mini birdhouse covered with clay (wood form from Michaels) ...hanging on my front porch ...only change seen is a bit of whitening of the blue side which gets the sun all day, every day

I jammed some baked face cane slices into the mortar as it set.
...these steps get exposed to a lot of light! ... they face south so they get sun when there is sun to be got, and get constant light from a street light directly across the street (also rain, snow, ice,)
...some of the slices were entirely Sculpey III, some entirely Fimo...... (none varnished).
...the reds, purples, and pinks have faded most.... the other colors have faded just a bit, but not nearly as much
...there's a face cane made from a Cernit/Sculpey III mix in there too - the blonde hair and caucasian skin are all right, but the pink lips have faded completely to where they're almost the color of the rest of the face...this faded within 2 - 3 years. Irene NC

I live in south Texas where it's hot and humid.... after a year, my pieces are still in great shape except the purple Kato clay faded a bit.
...All the other colors seem to have stood up very well...even the purple Premo.... I didn't use any coating over the clay. Judi

I did an experiment with a little figurine out of purple Sculpey III made over a glass bottle.
...she's been outside through rain, snow, freezing temps, sun etc.
...so far the only problems have been some slight fading and slight chipping (but those were thin spots) and some animal nibbles Gwen

I've had three angels in my flower beds for about 3 years now.
...they are in the direct sunlight but make it through rain, sleet and snow (drying out between)... I just rinse them off when I water the flowers to clean the dirt that splashes up from the rain showers...(if clay is left underwater for an extended period of time you will get what is referred to as "blooming" on dark colors)
....the hair (yellow) on one has faded a bit (I think it was sculpeyIII) but that is all.....
....all are made from white Premo (dresses), yellow sculpey III (hair) flesh fimo (skin) blue pearl sculpey III (one dress) premo translucent (wings on a fairy) ...… no finish was applied ...approx 3" tall
....the angel did not seem brittle at all and the dresses were made from # 3 pasta machined clay. Jan

If the beads will be hung on the car mirror,
....I would recommend NOT using finish because they can get a bit 'soft'....just sand and buff (I've had things out in the sun and heat and they are fine if it is naked clay). byrd

I remember Tory Hughes had some Fimo I'm pretty sure on a 'flag pole' or a May pole years ago, and said that it had been holding up very well! Kim MI

I've never done a mailbox, but I did two license plates about two years ago and they get a lot of outdoor exposure.
... I used Premo which is extremely strong if baked correctly....these worked just great and they are still fine. Dotty CA

I have a faery hanging from my car mirror (for at least a year). She is a bit sun bleached, her painted face is getting lighter… Her hair is the glow in the dark orange and translucent. Her arms and legs are flesh tone (SuperSculpey) with wire frame. I think today will be 112 degrees -- I'm sure my car could easily hit 150 -- daily - lately. Yes, I have tried to bake my clay in the rear window -- so I know it is under 200 --Peggy

Well I heard that PC doesn't stand the UV-Radiation outside. But I think it IS possible to protect the PC from it! I haven't tried it yet, but I'm sure it will work. Paint the PC with up to 5 layers of waterproof and UV-ABSORBANT varnish. Best use a spray can or an airbrush. Let every layer dry completely before applying the next layer. You should be able to get the varnish in every good art-shop (I use it to protect gouache-paintings). Jan
~...due to the experimentation by one of our clay community, mia roxx, we have learned when the product is covered with 5-6 layers of Rustoeum brand water-based Varathane, it will not only resist the water, but the sun. she made some clay blobs, covered some with 6 layers, some with 5 layers of Varathane and tossed them into her bird bath for just over a year. when she pulled them out of the water, they were as pristine as the day she dropped them in!!! sunni
I replaced a bad handle on our exterior screen door using a beautiful polymer cane I made. I coated it with Golden products UVLS polymer varnish. That is great stuff. However, it began to fade very quickly… Meredith

Marie Segal or somebody like that once told me that she did some things that were in outdoor display year round and also some in a glass showcase in full sun year round. The outdoor ones (this may have been in Hawaii, not sure) apparantly held up ok, but the showcase items in full sun [meaning both enclosed heat built up AND concentrated UV light] crumbled after a few years.

more ITEMS for outdoors

There are lots of polymer things that can be used in a yard or in a garden.
....polymer clay is also good to use when mixing media (embellishments on items made of wood or metal, e.g., or using a bit of other outdoor materials along with polymer clay).

lessons on plant stakes, etc.
...stamped and colored plant stakes.... Garden Party plant or flower stake.... Easy rubber stamped plant stakes
Marcy's plant stakes

...I took stiff wire (clothes hanger weight) and bent it into a U shape ...wrapped a strip of clay over one wire, across and around the other wire....that gave me a smooth flat panel of clay to work with
.....to form letters, I laid strings of clay on top, pressing them down very firmly to meld together ....baked.
.....my mom has had them in her garden about two years now, and none have broken/faded (in Texas, so no bitter cold or snow but lotsa rain and sun, dust, wind, storms!) Gillian
(...for loads of ideas for many ways of creating lettering, for plant stakes and plaques, etc., see Lettering & Inks > Letters)

little clay critters (snakelike or otherwise) can be stuck in the ground (or in potted plants)
.... or they can be put on plants/trees or anywhere for a bit of whimsy

terra cotta pots & saucers or terra cotta tiles can have clay onlays or be completely covered
...Marie Segal's lesson on decorating parts of 4" & 8" terra cotta pots and saucers using clay from push molds
(molded strip of clay around rim... molded motifs on body of pot) ....no finish nec.
... but ...if want to color the molded clay parts & leave with high gloss, paint with Pebeo Porcelaine paint & dry...bake 35 min
...Claudine's completely covered terra cotta pot (on counter in bathroom)
http://tinyurl.com/696kz ....(click on the little magnifying glass on the pot to see a larger version)
....also Patio Paint is completely weatherproof after 72 hours and formulated especially for concrete, terra cotta, brick, and stone surfaces. rainee

(see more on terra cotta in Covering > Terra Cotta)

Becky Meverden's lesson on making a ladybug figure (to hang off flower pot)
(see more ladybugs and other critters in Sculpting > Websites ....and in Kids > Sculpting)

lesson on making clay flowers and leaves fr. thick cane slices, then attaching to wire stems (in pot)

garden welcome sign http://www.sculpey.com/projects_homedecoration.htm
....Marcy has "welcome" plaques with onlays which could be hung outside (wire arc to hang)... plus flowers and bees
...for lots of ideas for many ways of creating lettering for plant stakes and plaques, see Lettering & Inks > Letters

flat metal shapes (his are laser-cut metal sheets, with variegated copper finish)
...but could be polymer cutouts instead (similar variegation in copper color could come from a Skinner blend, or marbling, or added paints, etc.)

syndee's lesson re onlays on a metal pot (round & copper, but she also suggests a black or green metal pot)
.... large onlays fr. molds ("Asian" motif --Sculpey EZ Flex mold, APM30)
... she used just the long strip of "bamboo,"and the lantern
....onlays made from black clay, lightly and mostly covered with Antique Copper Pearl Ex powder
....bamboo is laid around under rim ...lanterns hang underneath bamboo & partway down sides
(bake onlays while on pot... or could glue on later if bamboo in parts)
...she says her copper-colored metal pot changed color slightly when she baked it with the clay

metal mailbox... the only thing to remember is to be sure to clean the surface well before apply the clay...and actually, you might consider coating it with Sobo before adding the clay too ....and you need to make sure that all the pieces you put on, overlap a little. Dotty CA

wind chimes
...no reason why you couldn't have anything you wanted as the dangly bits (except possibly for sun exposure --see "fading" above )
.....if you really want the chimes to make lots of noise, parts of them could be metal or ceramic, etc.
.....I have also seen wind chimes made from polymer clay somewhere in a retail store, which I *think* may have been transfers on bookmark type strips, but can't remember. Diane B.
...wind chimes made with either large complex cane slices from which metal tubes hang from holes in the slice bottom
.......or clay-covered, patterned, cylindrical rings (like flat bracelets) from which the tubes hang (their ones made small figures of clay are gone)
...the chimes themselves can be old silverware, polished glass, polished sliced rock, metal tubes , etc.
...the top part of the chime is clay which will fit over a metal ring that holds the chimes
.....you can make your own, or purchase an inexpensive basic frame to fit the clay over. JJ
Robert Shields wind chimes (and other garden items)
...wild woman wind chime (little clay) ... and also long shapes of glass (some with sheets of faux dichroic attached)
...I made a windchime out of polymer clay and when it got hot from the desert sun it curled
.... I had made it with 3 layers of clay in a triangle shape with the tip down and hung off the corners...so if you have any parts that aren't supported (or backed) by metal or something else stiff, and you live where the sun is really hot, the sun will make them soften (I live in the desert ). LeAnn
.........hmmm.. since those holes and hanging cords were placed at each end, they created tension on the middle of the top area... then the sun probably softened them just enough (maybe along with the wind blowing) so that the the tension could release by letting the cords fall closer together (and curving the clay) ... you could avoid that by putting an armature of some kind (just a strip or rod of some kind) under the clay across the top, or use a larger armature
...Cheryl's lesson on making set of wind chimes from 1 whole CD plus 4 cut-up CD shapes
...... rubber-stamped, on shiny side... covered with clay and dry-stamped then Pearl-Ex'd, on label side
--for summary of lesson, see Covering > CD's
...for indoor mobiles, see Sculpting > Misc. Items)

more mini-scenes


"doors" and/or windows for fairies, critters, etc.-- for outside (or for inside)
...flat small clay "doors" and or windows, etc., could be made freestanding or with bases/etc., then placed in front of tree trunks, house foundations, dirt mounds, rock piles, or other places outdoors
(see more info & examples in Houses-Structures > Whole Structures & Scenes)

" faces" on trees ... 4-10" high facial features to hang on a tree trunk (like Mr. Potato Head's eyes, mouth, etc.) and create whimsical tree faces
... could make from polymer... make hole(s) in back of each to hang on small nail (secure well if you live in a windy area!)
......these have 2 eyes, 1 nose, mouth, or mouth unit with mustache, etc..... could also add earrings, bangs, bow tie, etc.
.....could change them or their hair, etc. for seasons, occasions, holidays?
..... attach a piece of picture-wire to the back of each piece (prior to baking); then hang on a small nail, hammered into the tree. lady-o
(see also lesson on making facial features and buttons for a real. snowman, with long screw embedded in back, in Christmas > Other Ideas)

face plaque on fence, etc.
Maureen Carlson's lesson on making a very basic face shape with aluminum foil (hemisphere with added bits for nose, etc.)
... gently covering with scrap clay layer... pressing Wireform over the scrap layer... adding the skin-color layer ...adding clay pieces for nose, lips, etc.
(she makes a face surrounded by leaves for hanging on a wall)

...or could use the same idea for mini-pumpkins or hard squashes (of added facial features, etc)
......form each piece over a tack, etc., then push them onto vegetable "heads/bodies" ...then sit them around yard/garden, or on porch, windowsill, etc.
.....could also use other plant material (with nails or glue) to add arms, hair, ears, hat or clothing, to them, etc.

clay pieces can be inset into cement or freestanding stepping stones (see below in Cement Mixes),
or into grouted areas on walkways, patios, walls, etc., or into plaster?
....Sue's idea of deeply insetting the clay pieces (into the walkway) is great! (although, come to think of it, maybe that would encourage the water to sit on the clay for much longer, which results in a whitish coating on the darker colors. Hmphh..but maybe they'd dry out though and not be a problem.)
... another idea might be to put the polymer parts near walkway edges where they wouldn't get as much traffic. DB



Rocks, rock, stone

make stone-looking stone

...add inclusions (often into translucent or tinted translucent clays):
........sand or dirt or
plant materials (crushed flower petals, herbs, etc).. also mica powders, etc.
(.....for examples and more info, see Inclusions and Translucents and Liquid Clays)
... buy clays which already have inclusions:
......Cernit's Nature's Colors look a lot like stone by themselves, and they are really pretty
......Sculpey's Granitex colors can look somewhat like stone (they have small bits of colored "lint" in them)
......some FimoSoft colors too ("marble", etc.)
(....Fimo's Stone Colors really looked like stone-granite, but no longer available)

making polymer clay rocks

polymer clay rock with one large eye on it, by Devil Ducky... large eye was plastic so not baked with the clay --eye impressed in raw clay, then glued back in after baking ...foil ball armature underneath

for more on making all-clay stone-like faux rocks in various ways, see inclusions asjust above, and see Faux-Many > Stone-Rock

for making hollow faux rocks from clay, see Vessels-Rocks > Larger Rocks

covering real rocks with clay (completely or partially)

for how to completely cover rocks with clay, see Vessels-Rock > Larger Rocks
...covered rocks can also be embellished :
.......I make tiny stamps to stamp onto the urns, which makes them look like sculpted stone
...stamping with pigment inks (ladybugs, etc., or words like Love, Joy)
http://www.sculpey.com/Projects/PDF/rocks.pdf (need Adobe Acrobat reader to access)
.....I sometimes brush them with pastel colours (chalks? or sponge/dry brush with acrylics?)
........green looks like verdigris ... yellow and orange gives a lichen effect ....t
hen I bake
....sometimes I antique them with acrylic paint in browns and greys (the results are very like weathered stone)

lesson on completely covering ceramic tiles (broken into large irreg.shapes), w/ raised lettering by Marie Browning (...Mossy Garden Stones, from Garden Crafts issue)
...bases: break up a light colored, 12" tile to create odd shapes ...cover each with 1/8-1/4" clay sheet
...onlays: on a 2nd clay sheet, use a 1" alphabet stencil to mark letters (make letters whole) then cut out with Xacto
(......she bakes letter onlays then adds them afterward with white glue, but should be able to apply to raw, covered tile)
...embellish: add molded shapes to stone, or make texture impressions, etc wherever you want ...bake
...color: splotch here and there with brown & green acrylic paints to resemble moss and lichens
...(if you want to add a sand covering on top, sprinkle with fine sand while paint is wet, then allow to dry well)
...she covers top surface with Envirotex Lite (a 2-part epoxy resin) to hold the sand on (elevate to drain....let set 24 hrs), but could probably cover with Varathane to hold on sand (...see more on using epoxy resins in Other Materials > Resins > Epoxy Resins > Thick Coating)

partially covered rocks
Kaz Kono's rocks ...partially covered with decorative polymer sheet shapes (larger and smaller rocks?) ... adhesive?
http://www.polymerclayart-japan.com/newkaz/englishdaikanyama.html ...http://www.polymerclayart-japan.com/newkaz/ginzaten04.html

Kim Cavender's partially covered rocks for paperweights
...embellished with stamps, molds, inks, powders, paints, texture
...for glues, she uses (a gap-filling?) superglue, and a glue for non-porous surfaces such as E-6000 or G-S Hypo cement
(orange pkg)
link dead:http://www.moodywoodsky.com/images/Rock-n-Roll_with_Polymer_Clay.jpg but same as this? http://www.flickr.com/photos/kimcavender/2475060696

lavomatic's "mini-garden" (med-sized rocks set on table, with "green flowers/leaves on wire under each rock, extending up above like abstract garden)

lichen cane ...translucent rods and lightly-tinted green translucent rods in center, surrounded by darkish trans+ green, wrapped with light translucent green

to design stones or plaques, etc., see Stamping... Textures... Molds
.......for stamping with nature materials or using molds made from them, see Stamping..Textures.. Molds

Non-polymer materials that simulate rock or cement

I've put (plaster or plaster cloth strips?) around smooth rocks (after pressing on aluminum foil?)...dry thoroughly
.... then bake a layer of clay around it with some sort of release agent applied & let cool slowly in oven
... cut the clay off... glue halves back together ...finish resulting hollow form as you wish. Works great! LynnDel
Janet does the same, but leaves the rock in, and uses white glue over a layer of papier mache rather than plaster strips (she makes large figures)
...more on using large or small real rocks for creating bowls, or closed or hollow containers, see Vessels-Rock

cement mixes

"Portland" cement is ground, calcined (roasted) limestone and clay (Portland is not a brand name but the most common way of creating cement... usually the only cement readily available)
...purchase at hardware stores, garden suppliers, etc
...comes in gray (also white, but more expensive)

"aggregate"...crushed stone, gravel, sand, or other inactive materials which may be added to cement and water (smaller bits + larger bits equals best strength)

"mortar"... mixture of cement, sand and water... and may contain masonry cement (or standard portland cement with lime, etc., which may increase adhesiveness, plasticity and/or durability)

...regular acrylic paint in any color....I've seen it used in demos with Quikrete, plus there's no need to seal
......you could use Patio Paint instead... it's completely weatherproof after 72 hours and formulated especially for concrete, terra cotta, brick, and stone surfaces. rainee
...mortar colorant comes in 7 lb bags ($7.00) or 50 lb bags comes in red, black, and chocolate.
......Quikrete's colorants are kind of expensive (colors available?)
(if using gray cement and/or non-white sand, don't forget the resulting colors will be "toned down"... not as clear and saturated as if mixing with white ingredients)

various mixes + general info

recipes & good info (including hypertufa)

for most strength in a concrete, use less water and a slower/cooler/wetter cure
....for best detail in a mold, use a middling amount of water so the mix will be able to settle into small recessed parts


Hypertufa can simulate the look of old, rugged stone to smooth concrete when dry, but is much lighter in weight than regular concrete/Quikrete/etc. ...mixture of cement and other materials which looks like real tufa rock (a spongy rock found near limestone)
...fairly easy to use
...can be hand-shaped or molded into many small to large shapes to create all kinds of things (or carved)
peat moss--2 parts (sift through finger to remove all lumps) + sand, vermiculite or perlite--1 part + cement--1 part + water--1 part ...mix all together
.......then rough-shape, or mold... wait 3-4 hrs if want to "carve"... allow week to cure fully before using
...different proportions of ingredients will result in different appearances
...tufa items can be many sizes (small to quite large), and all shapes (though no intricate or fine detail is possible)
...outdoors (or on porch) --planters, containers of any kind, simple sculptures, pavers, birdbaths, fountains, benches, short single-pedastal "mushroom" tables for kids, "Japanese lanterns," etc.
....if stepping stones or other items will be subjected to a lot of stress, and need to be very strong, can then use hyptertufa with concrete... for molds, e.g., place hypertufa in bottom 1/2" of mold (which will be the final top surface), then fill with concrete.... can also use strips of nylon sheeting or fibers between the two layers for even more strength
(...indoors --lamp bases, planters, table tops?, sculptures, wall pieces --bas relief on plaque, tiles, etc)
...baked polymer clay pieces could also be inlaid in it for mosaics or other embellishments)
(for more lessons and photos on hypertufa, see Other Materials > Hypertufa)

(stepping stones in particular)

"concrete" = varying proportions of cement + sand and/or gravel (aggregates) + water
....(regular concretes are heavier than hypertufa because they won't include peat moss or vermiculite, etc.)
...1 part cement (sifted)... 3 parts sifted fine sand... approx. 1/2 part water
...Quikrete (also misspelled Quikcrete) or other brands? (or a similar premix)...DB in my files in stepping stone, etc., kits with molds?)
NOTE: wear protective glasses, dust mask, and gloves, to keep cement dusts out of eyes/lungs/skin esp. while mixing with water.. if gets on skin, wash immediately with soap and water)

polymer shell with cement inside:
..use a form cut from wood (or could be other materials toos??) ....(do not forget to bevel the edges of the form outward so that you can remove it later)
....wrap a 1/2" polymer clay sheet over the form and bake
....remove form from clay while everything is very warm ....let cool 1-2 days
....invert the polymer 'stone' (shell), then fill the back side with cement.... let cement cure for about 2 weeks before you even try to use it.
....(necessary if not exposed to extreme weather?)...after that, I would suggest several layers of Varathane Diamond Elite on the polymer (let it dry a day between each layer...lightly sand before every layer, including the polymer clay layer, to insure the finish adheres). Lysle?

molds for cement mixes:
....cake pans sprayed with a light layer of cooking oil spray
...... pour a cement mix in and smooth it out, stamp or make a pattern, and let dry. Stephanie
.....I have used old garbage can lids for molds.
.....also I have used plastic wrap (smoothed out) inside the lid before I pour, so it is easy to turn out when set.
..or use smaller molds like plastic pot bottoms ..or metal burner covers for stove tops . Stephanie
...you can also put the items in the mold first, then fill with cement ( only if they will disintegrate over time?), then turn out
...I bought one of those black rubbery microwave baking pans. I use it for the mold. It works great and the stone just pops out when it is dry. It leaves a smooth-as-marble finish on the surface. . . . I have also used a pizza box (be sure to reinforce the sides with strong tape first). . . . You can use a garbage can lid or a cut-down cardboard box lined with plastic. . . . I have also made a form with scrap wood..just nail 4 pieces of wood into a rectangle or square shape. . . .Lay the form down onto some sand and pour the quikrete in. Since you only see the top of the stone, it really doesn't matter what the underside looks like, just be sure that the sides of the mold do not angle in toward the center. You can't get the stone out when it dries! I have used driftwood, river stones, seashells, broken china and tile, and anything else I could find that is flat and decorative. Amos
...petroleum (jelly?...Vaseline) or cooking spray can be used as a release (at least from metal pans)
..."hmmm, that could be a mold!" . . . . I've already used some of my melt and pour soap molds - the shells came out great and so did the flowers - will glue onto the flat medallion I made in burner cover - also found some chocolate making molds ... Stephanie

...Allow the concrete 5 minutes to rest before adding decorations in the stepping stone (for top method).
...Allow 20 minutes of drying time before you attempt to write in your stepping stone. If the imprint fills with water, then simply smooth it out and wait an additional 5 minutes or so and begin again.
...Allow 30 minutes of drying time before adding hand or foot prints.
...Allow the stepping stone to dry for at least 48 hours. Turn the mold over, placing an old towel on the work surface. Gently tap the mold, and it will release the stepping stone. You can now paint the stone if you wish. Alden Smith

embedding polymer clay pieces (or other things)
...BOTTOM-upside-down method: when Charles from Design on a Dime made stepping stones, he first he spread a layer of sand in the bottom of metal pie tins, then he placed his smooth river pebbles in the sand, and finally poured in Quickrete (or other instant cement) and didn't use any release agent ...after it hardened, he just turned the pie tin over and the stepping stone popped right out!
...TOP method: good lesson from HGTV on making stepping stones and embedding things, including these great tips:
...mix Quikrete mortar mix till frosting consistency
......pour it into a plastic plant tray or pizza box as a mold (Poke a few drainage holes in the bottom of plastic plant tray, or reinforce pizza box with tape?).
......then embed
decorative items starting start with the outer border areas (where the mix dries fastest) and move in to the middle
......you should feel the mixture sort of "grabbing" your items as you press them in with your gloved hand or a craft stick. Don't push too hard, but do make sure they're actually stuck to the surface. If your decorations sink below the surface, your mixture is too wet. Start over again).
--wear gloves when you're mixing and use craft sticks to embed the items in the mortar. Thin medical-supply gloves offered protection were good.
--smooth the top of your stone all the way to the edge of the mold (with a piece of board or "screed," etc.). If the concrete is a little higher around the edges, it's likely to chip or crumble off when you remove the stone from the mold.... and also hurt if you're barefoot.
--If you're using concrete stain (we tried brown, yellow and black), add the stain to the water before you add the mortar mix.
--For added durability, you can embed a layer of thin mesh (like window screen material or chicken wire) in the middle of the stepping stone. Fill the mold halfway, add the screen, then fill to the top.

for a stepping stone, my grandaughter had made a variety of canes and faux stones, and other designs that she then embedded in wet cement. Mary K.
...other things to add: smooth stones, coins, keys, buckshot (for sparkle), mosaic tiles or broken crockery pieces, glass pebbles, etc.... can use plastic items but may eventually become brittle and fade over time
...things that will leave impressions only: large leaves,
I also embellished with hand prints, and other items like marbles, shells, pretty rocks, anything you like you can push into the wet mix for your own personal patterns. Chris--FL

many lessons on making stepping stones:

here are pretty extreme weather conditions here in Minnesota... heat, sun, rain, snow and cold
...the stone has held up beautifully so far!!!! ... the colors she used are just as rich as ever
...one small problem though... some of the clay pieces that were "thin" (1/4" or less) have popped out of the cement with the extreme cold temps ...so perhaps thicker pieces that are actually embedded deeper are the ticket (for those conditions) Mary K.
...if the work will ever be exposed to freezing, you MUST not allow any slits, cracks, or low spots where water can pool and freeze ... this is why I recommend the overall Varathane finish. Lysle

Michael's has kits for mosaic stepping stones but they are rather expensive, and also limited to one size, shape
(is Quikrete what's included in the kit?)

many projects (from Quikrete)... ...also how to use it for various kinds of other repair tasks, etc

...a google.com search will also bring up loads of info on both Quikrete and making stepping stones...(DB,more in my Word files)

small items of concrete art


(which mix?)....Robert Shields' petroglyphs on slabs of faux? stone... stamped?, with paint ... which mix?
http://shop.store.yahoo.com/robertshieldsdesign/valentinesday.html (look around site)

(for more on the lighter-weight Hypertufa for making indoor or outdoor items of various types, see Other Materials > Hypertufa)

More ideas for outdoor items... and Misc:

"stone craft".... figures and other creations made with small rocks which are glued together (using a silicone glue like E-6000/Goop, or try Gorilla Glue but may need clamping), then painted
... polymer parts or items could be added, or just use these for polymer inspiration (lessons & info too)
http://www.geocities.com/flozart/stonecraft/index.htm#G2 (look in nav. bar on left for lots of info and photos)
...my friend paints on rocks to make them look like animals. . . .got the idea from using clay to make chimneys, door knobs, etc. on houses made from rocks---
http://www.homestead.com/petarock/howto_main.html ...http://meme.essortment.com/paintingonrock_rmqz.htm

...fountains (see above)
...bird houses or feeders
(see other ideas above under "Fading")

tiny houses, furniture, and/or any kind of play area scenes for kids to play with toy figures or dolls, or imaginary critters/fairies, in.
....(for those & lots more ideas for gardens, see Kids
> "Scenes and Dioramas"....Houses-Structures ...& Miniatures )
...one example could be putting polymer bugs & critters in a mini habitat you make and keep inside for display, or for play inside or ouside (see Kids > Scenes & Dioramas)

also see these pages:
....Faux--Turq.&Wood > Wood for simulating wood
...Covering >Wood > Gourds
> Other Items &Websites

(Gorilla Glue http://www.gorillaglue.com/theglue/) ...waterproof .... incredibly strong
......bonds wood, stone, metal, ceramics, Corian®, styrofoam, and more (see more on Gorilla Glue in Glues)
...when nothing else works for me, I go to something called Gorilla glue...we glued two halves of a large cement bird bath together using it. It's holding great, at least for the last year. No signs of wear or tear so far. Dotty


(out of print, but maybe available somewhere) Clay Garden Critters (McCall's Creates, No 16 063) by Cecilia Determan ... loads of very cute snake, ladybugs, bee and hive, snail, worm, caterpillar, turtle (with sombrero), butterfly... these can sit in pots or hang from 24 gauge, curved, green wire with leaves-with-veins attached every inch or so (hook formed at ends)
DB: add photo

Polymer Clay Extravaganza, by Lisa Pavelka . . .for crafters of all kinds... 20 projects that combine easy polymer clay techniques with a variety of mediums including mosaic, wire, stamping, foiling, millefiore, caning and metal embossing. From home and garden accessories to jewelry . . . votives, switch plates, flower pots, pins, picture frames . . . idea gallery

Kids' Crafts - Polymer Clay by Irene Semanchuck Dean ... all kinds of projects for kids and tweens, including plant stakes. . . .